Science at Houghton – Building on Strength

For more than 125 years Houghton College has prepared students to become global contributors empowered by a challenging education, taught in a vibrant community and grounded in a relevant Christian context. Houghton regularly earns national recognition and top tier ranking for the transformative education it provides. Located in rural western New York, our student body consists of about 1,200 students from over 40 states and 25 different countries. Baccalaureate degrees are offered in 48 fields and Master level degrees in Music. 

Houghton has an honorable history of educating cardiologists, epidemiologists, dentists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, mathematicians and ecologists. We have resolved to continue that proud tradition by ensuring future generations of Houghton scientists access to the resources they need – dynamic, committed faculty; collaborative research opportunities; medical and graduate school preparation; and cutting-edge laboratories.

In addition to these essential tools, a Houghton education provides something deeper: engagement with faith. We ask our students to consider the ethical and theological questions that their studies raise and to learn to understand their practice as one of service and stewardship. Our mandate is to prepare – thoroughly and thoughtfully – those who will serve our world through science. Their lives are proof of our claims.

One of Houghton’s physics majors from 2003 is now teaching radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School and focusing his research on the localization and treatment of cancers and abnormal growths in the cranial cavity with radiation. A 1988 graduate who studied biology and writing went to the tropical rainforests of the Congo and built a hospital to care for the local people. Studying infectious diseases in children – this year specifically the Swine Flu – is what a 1992 chemistry and graduate is doing with his Houghton degree. A 2008 physics major is using NASA’s data to determine just how water got on the surface of Mars. Being a veterinarian at a zoo is what one biology and music double major from the class of 2002 decided to do with her education. A 2004 graduate has gone on to study neuroscience, hoping to make breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s disease. One of our faculty members has used computer algorithms to identify key indicators in breast cancer treatments and the H1N1 flu. Nearly one quarter of Houghton’s current students are setting their sights on the sciences and planning to contribute to their fields just like our accomplished alumni.

The combination of a challenging education and a desire to solve some of the world’s most complex issues is what drives Houghton students. It’s what makes continuing the Houghton legacy in the sciences worth an investment.


Several years ago, a small group of our alumni had a focused vision for the development of the Paine Science Center for training of this next generation of scientists. To date they have provided well over $3 million for the first phase of a three-phase, 71,127 sq ft addition and re-purposing project for the natural sciences and mathematics.

TIMING: We are pleased that Phase I construction began the first week of December and is scheduled for completion by the beginning of the fall semester (September 2011). This phase transitions over 16,000 sq ft existing space in Houghton’s Paine Science Center from what it has been for the last 41 years to space that will readily accommodate the scientific fields, equipment, technology and the teaching requirements of today and into the future.

Phases II and III will build additional space for classrooms, labs, a four-and-a-half-story atrium and a 300-seat auditorium. Construction will begin when the funding is in place (approx. $11 million for Phase II and $4 million for Phase III).


All 1,200 Houghton students will benefit from this project. The study of science is an essential component to a liberal arts education and all students are required to take at least one science course.

The renovated classroom and laboratory spaces in Phase I will provide places for students to confront challenging questions together, to test and retest ideas, and discover new opportunities – classrooms where students combine theories of physics with principles of biology to solve a problem of chemistry – labs where students transfer concepts into solutions and failures into breakthroughs.

This project will have a broad effect not only on Houghton students, but will be multiplied many times over as our alumni pursue careers in health related professions, research, and academic positions in the sciences.

Give to this project today!

For more information, please contact the advancement office at 585-567-9340 or email

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